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What next for adult education?

A hundred years on from the Government report that revolutionised adult education, what now for adult education and lifelong learning?
In 1919, the UK Government’s Education Committee set out a report to revolutionise the country’s education system. One of the recommendations was that every university establish departments for continuing education. The report suggested that ‘a population educated throughout life was vital for the future of the country.’

One hundred years later, the Centenary Commission, who’s patrons include Jon Sentamu (Archbishop of York), will present a review of education that highlights that adult education is as crucial for individuals, communities and the country today as it was then.

In January 2019, Lord Bilamoria was quoted in the House of Lords to say:

There will be an increasing need for lifelong learning. Continuing education contributes positively to well-being and health, which, as well as being an intrinsic good, has positive consequences for the economy through the health of the population and the workforce…This needs to be at the heart of our endeavours to improve the prosperity of our country and the well-being of our people.’

Throughout this course, we have considered what it is to be a mature learner, the barriers for adults in coming back to education, and the levels of support that there is available for returner learners.

Take some time to read through the linked article and as we draw the course to a close, offer your suggestions for an adult education system that lifts those barriers once and for all so that adult education does really become a lifelong learning journey for all.


Adult Education (1919),The Ministry of Reconstruction

© University of York
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Returning to Education as a Mature Student

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